Looking For Your First Coffee Bean Grinder (Blade)? [Definitive Guide In 2020]

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A coffee grinder is probably the most discussed topic as this is one of the pillars that your amazingly brewed coffee stand on. This guide will walk you through coffee blade grinders, so you will know how to get your first coffee bean grinder.

Some of you who already have read countless of these kinds of articles on blade grinders and burr grinders will tell that blade grinder is a waste of time. But in reality, it’s actually not.

Not jumping too far ahead simple reasoning would be price, individuals coffee drinking habits, and fact that you could get equal if not even worse results with 10-20 times more expensive burr grinders.

Oh yes, and let’s not forget that blade grinder will get the job done much better than a hammer. Please, please, please don’t use a hammer on coffee beans at home, it might get expensive. So…

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Why should I buy a coffee bean grinder?

They say that ground coffee retains the best taste and aroma within 90 seconds of being ground. (Considering that whole beans are stored properly)

After that, it starts to lose the essential values of a good coffee. So to keep the best to yourself, I suggest invest a little money and buy something simply for your first coffee bean grinder.

As an entry point into the coffee grinding world, that would be a small and simple blade coffee grinder. This won’t cost much and will allow you to determine yourself if this is for you.

What’s so hard there?First Coffee Grinder confused

When buying electronics it is always a hard decision which one to buy, especially when there are multiple relatively similar options. And it does not matter if you are looking for something that costs hundreds of dollars or just a couple of tens. We don’t want to waste our hard-earned money on something that is a letdown, does not fulfill our needs, or simply breaks down as soon as we start to like the product.

OK then, tell me what to look after when I am making a decision?

When buying an electric blade coffee bean grinder there are a number of technical key indicators as well as our own needs. The following list could be used as a checklist as mentioned points are not in priority order.

 

Grinding capacity

This one is kind of obvious, you don’t want to spend all morning grinding beans. So it is important to understand how much ground coffee you would need in one go. How many family members drink coffee? Are you making in-cup, pour-over or French press? And therefore how strong you like your coffee.

Typical grind cup size is around 2.5 oz (around 70 grams) which is considered to be enough for around 8-10 cups of coffee (again, depends on coffee strength you like). But there are also some grinders with 3-4 oz (around 85-115 grams) capacity which should be more than enough for typical Sunday morning.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Grinding cup that holds enough of beans so you don’t need to grind multiple times.

 

Grinding performance

How much time you will be spending on grinding usually comes down to your needs of a grind, do you want it coarse or fine? The finer the more time it takes, also note that there are some ability limitations to get the finest of grind. What I meant is that some grinders can grind only as fine as they can, and that would not match your expectations, so if you are looking for espresso grind, then you should spend more time investigating grinders’ abilities.

Key components to performance are the power of the motor. The typical motor on a market is 150W which is definitely good for everyday use. But then there are grinders with motors of 200W and even 250W of power, which makes grinding super fast.

On top of that, there is no use of power if it does not spin the designated blade or blades. Blade not only cuts through the beans but also controls the way they move in a grinding compartment.

Probably you have seen someone who is tilting grinder side to side or shaking it while grinding. This says that the blade is not designed for quality, but rather for simple power output. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get you to grind the way you need, but it requires some tricks to be applied, like grinding in pulses, or already mentioned tilting and shaking (there is room for experiments if you like that).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Blade that is marketed as performance, or espresso grinding quality, and matching power (something above the market average (150W and above) plus good blade will be the best choice).


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How practical is the grinder

If you drink coffee once a week you might be good with any grinder. But if you plan to spend more time with it, some aspects become more important.

How big is the grinder? There are some that are small enough to be held in a hand while grinding, and then there are machines that are average (comparing to small appliances) If you don’t have much countertop or shelf space to handle bigger grinders you should look for compact ones, but the typical size is around 3*3 to 4*4 inch bases (that is around 8-10 cm both dimensions) and 7-8 inch height (17-20 cm).

Another important aspect is, does the grinder have a removable grinding cup. If it doesn’t you will need to turn over your grinder to empty it, and cleaning it will also take more time.

Removable Grinding Cup

While removable cups simplifies emptying it and typically these cups are dishwasher safe, so no need to try to reach under the blades.

And also the controls, do you need to hold down the button, or it has on/off switch? Does grinder have grind settings which allows you

to do other tasks while grinder operates? These are also questions that you should get answers to.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Removable cup will be appreciated, as well as some sort of grind settings, but it is not as crucial, as most grinds are done in less than 30 seconds anyways.

 

Noise of the coffee grinder

There is not much to add, these grinders make a noise, and usually a lot of it. While the difference is not big, it is still noticeable between some of the grinders that are marketed as less noisy grinders. They typically make something around 70-75 dB which is something similar to a vacuum cleaner.

While difference does not seem big, but for a sound 80 dB is actually twice as loud as 70 dB, and 80 dB is comparable to the garbage disposal and 88 dB to food blender.

If you are sensitive to sound this might be a release to you that there are some (not too expensive) options available.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
There are not many blade grinders that markets themself as silent/less noisy, so If you see one and it states to have around 70-75 dB then this is it.

 

Safety

It is uncommon to have any type of household electronic to operate with exposed spinning blades. But It does not hurt to verify that the grinder does not operate if the lid is not properly locked or it’s completely removed.

Overheating switch would help to preserve your grinder in case it is operated for too long, but with these grinders, it is not typical to use them for prolonged time.

Vibration absorbing base and anti-skid feet are something that would prevent your grinder to fall while operated on its own.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Must have a safety switch that does not allow grinder to operate without lid.

 

Look and feel of the grinderVintage Design Coffee Bean Grinder

This one is very individual, some units are simple cylinders or cubes, while some other adds some appealing design look.

Having a high-quality plastic and/or metal finish adds some aesthetic value to grinder, especially if you intend it to leave in visible place for most of the time.

Also, not to underrate the ability to select grinders of the color which fits your kitchen design the best, or maybe even stands out on its own.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
You will be using this grinder more or less daily, so do think about it as well when deciding. Will you be happy seeing it daily, or you would rather shove it in a drawer?

 

Price

When it comes down to buying anything you should always set your preferred budget, as well as slight reserve, like an extra 10% (for the case when you found an exact match, but it is just slightly outside of your budget).

As for the pricing of blade coffee grinders, the vast majority of basic grinders will cost you less than $25 but some feature here and some there might add up to even $50 price tag. Which, to be honest, rarely proves to be worth it.

One tough, sometimes these grinders come in a set, with a cleaning brush, and/or extra grinding cup (one for coffee beans and one for spices, that helps to keep them both from cross-contaminating each other’s taste/aroma).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
25-30$ will be sweet spot for really well-equipped grinder.

 

Product reviews

One of the best advice I can give you is to do some research also based on other user reviews. Good place would be Amazon. Going through most helpful comments not only positive ones, bet those that have 3 or fewer stars would give you an insight into what to expect.

One thing to note here is that there is no need to be scared of a bad review. People are all different and they use things differently. If you see something negative that is mentioned just once or twice (depends on how many reviews there are) then consider it, but don’t make judgment solely relating to the comment.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
When doing review research in Amazon, look for 100 or more reviews for the unit you are interested in, and preferably average rating that is around 4 stars or better.

 

How would I buy coffee bean grinder for myself?

  • I like power so I will look at grinder with motor power of 200-250W
  • Detachable grinder cup that is dishwasher safe is a must for me
  • Regarding loudness I would not bother much (though would read comments/reviews and avoid excessively loud grinder)
  • Any capacity for me would be sufficient as I don’t need more than 4 cups of coffee at a time
  • Design!!! I like electronics whose design stands out but it has to be practical design
  • Budget 25-30$, if it would have a really nice design, I could pay even 35-40$

 

BONUS Video: 3 Hacks to make your grind even better

 

What would be your top 3 key aspects when deciding which blade grinder to buy? How much time would you consider spending on research when making decision? Feel free to leave a comment, I would be interested to see your opinion.

If you found something useful in our guide. Don’t hesitate and share this with others who may benefit from it.

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Buying Blade Coffee Grinder Guide

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4 thoughts on “Looking For Your First Coffee Bean Grinder (Blade)? [Definitive Guide In 2020]”

  1. Someone gave me a coffee grinder a few years ago and it’s a small one, but works okay. Or at least it did, but now I need to start looking for something to replace it. These look like good options and I like the image of the first one in the post. It looks really clean and neat and easy to use, as well. 

    Reply
  2. Top three aspects would be grinding size(espresso), removable cup for dishwasher, and design.I like good espresso.  I was not aware that there is a different blade for different grindings.  I would surely want to get one that grinds for espresso.I was not aware of the size differences in the motors either.  We drink a lot of coffee at our house so I would think that I should look for one with a little more power, if I am understanding you correctly.Thank you for the enlightening information.  I look forward to learning more as I follow you.

    Reply
    • Hi Thomas, 

      Thank you for letting know your top 3 aspects of a coffee grinder.
      Side note regarding blade, it is not really a different blade for different grinds, it is just an aspect that determines how well the grinder can break down coffee beans.
      You could have 2 identical grinders with slightly different blades, and this could make huge difference.

      Have a great day, Thomas!

      Reply
  3. Hi Uldis. II think a coffee grinder would be a great investment for me and for my wife. In the past I would frequent cafés for a good cup of coffee. However, now both my wife and I work from home and we are often to busy to get into a car and take the trip into town for a cuppa. I liked your article on the coffee grinder and what to look for, my ears aren’t to good any more and I struggle with lots of background noise. But now I know what sound levels to look for when purchasing a grinder. I also like the picture you have of the old style hand grinder. We had one of these in our garden many years ago. Unfortunately it was sold along with our property. Now I wish we had kept it. All the best.  Jim 

    Reply

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